Protected State witness insists he knew Limerick man charged with assault

Witness says that accused man was in house on day of attack

Daniel Hickey

Reporter:

Daniel Hickey

Protected State witness insists he knew Limerick man charged with assault

Mark Heffernan has pleaded not guilty to both charges. His trial continues

A PROTECTED witness who told the Special Criminal Court he saw a Limerick man accused of assault and false imprisonment in the house where the attack allegedly took place, has denied that he did not know the accused man.

It is the prosecution case that three men were involved in a ‘joint enterprise’ during which Dan Quilligan (53) from Rathkeale was beaten and his left foot nailed with a nail-gun to the kitchen floor of a house on the southside of the city.

Mark Heffernan, aged 33, of Swallow Drive, John Carew Park, Southill has pleaded not guilty to assaulting Mr Quilligan, causing him harm, at a house at Larch Court, Kennedy Park on September 14, 2015.

He has also denied falsely imprisoning Mr Quilligan at the same address on the same date.

Last week two other men – Gerard Mackin, aged 34, a native of Northern Ireland with an address at Star Court, John Carew Park, Southill, and Patrick Hayes, aged 54, who has an address at Larch Court, Kennedy Park – both pleaded guilty to assaulting Mr Quilligan.

Giving evidence this Tuesday, Tom Lillis told Tara Burns SC, prosecuting, that in September 2015 he was living at the house in Larch Court with two other men including Patrick Hayes.

On the morning of September 14, Mr Lillis was in the sitting-room drinking with two men when several men, including Gerard Mackin, Mark Heffernan and Dan Quilligan, came to the house.

The witness said that Mr Heffernan and Mr Mackin came into the sitting-room and told him to “f**k off out of here”.

“They were wearing white suits and one of them was holding “some sort of machine thing”. 

Mr Lillis said the two men went into the kitchen and that he left the house for a short time. 

He said when he returned to the house at Larch Court, Patrick Hayes was “frothing” and there was “blood all over the kitchen”.

Cross examining the witness, this Wednesday, Ronan Munro SC put it to him that on the day of the alleged offences he did not know Mr Heffernan  suggesting that prior to the day in question he had “not laid eyes” on him.

“I think I seen him once or twice,” Mr Lillis replied.

Mr Munro again asked the witness whether he knew Mr Heffernan from before the day of the alleged assault.

Mr Lillis said: “I can't say yes or no.”

The court heard that “mysterious characters” frequently visited the kitchen of the Larch Court house. Mr Munro described the house as “chaotic”.

“Nothing to do with me,” Mr Lillis said.

The witness further stated that whenever men were in the kitchen he and another man stayed in the living-room and kept the kitchen door closed.

“We didn't want to know anything about it,” he said.

The trial continues in front of Mr Justice Tony Hunt, presiding, sitting with Judge John O'Hagan and Judge Ann Ryan.